Crepes

As promised, way too long ago, I’m finally getting around to a post on our night of crepes. Crepes, in the off chance that you haven’t had the pleasure of eating them before, are French and look and feel like a tortilla but taste more similar to a pancake. They can be created in endless flavor possibilities both savory for a meal and sweet for dessert. I like to eat them when ever and where ever I possibly can.

I fell in love with crepes at the young age of 10. My awesome French teacher would actually bring in all the ingredients and allow us to make crepes in class one day each year. This was everyone’s favorite day and I took home a copy of the recipe and began making them at home for my family. Then, I went to Paris, in college, and fell in love all over again. There is something about an authentic French crepe made right before you on a the street that just makes it taste out of this world. I’ve never been able to replicate the crepes I’ve eaten in France but I do enjoy getting as close as I can to those epic crepes in my own kitchen.

One thing to make note of before making crepes is that while the batter is very simple to make, it must be refrigerated for at least 2 hours, if not overnight before you make the crepes. I prefere to refrigerate overnight because that makes the meal even faster to whip up.

For this particular crepe evening, I choose a new recipe from Julie Child an made 2 separate batters; one for savory crepes and one for sweet. Both were made in the blender and mixed up in about 15 minutes or less. Chill both overnight.

Crepes can be made on an official crepe pan or simply on a large non-stick fry pan. Since marrying Eric, we bought an official Le Creuset crepe pan and I must admit to you all that I’m terrible at making the crepes in this pan. I was decent at it in the frying pan but for whatever reason I can’t make it happen in this pan. Crepes are Eric’s territory and I’m happy to give up that job, he’s really good at it and I am in charge of filling the crepes with delcious insides.

I choose two savory crepes to make, mushroom and ham and cheese. The mushroom filling is very simple. Saute one diced onion in butter until soft.

Saute the mushrooms until they’re soft and have released their juices. Add 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Spinkle with 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, save the rest for when you put the crepe together. The mushroom filling is complete.

The ham and cheese crepe is exactly what you think it is. I buy ham from the deli, thinly sliced and place it inside the crepe with sharp cheddar cheese, grated. Nothing like easy and delicious.

Now for the tricky part, making the crepes. Warm your pan on med-low heat until hot. Brush the pan lightly with butter, remember to do this before each crepe you make. The recipes say to use 1/4 of a cup of batter, this was not working well for us so Eric upped it to 1/2  a cup. I guess we just couldn’t get them thin enough but they were still delicious.

As soon as your batter is on the pan, begin gently lifing the endges of the crepe with a long spatula, it will cook extremely quickly. One you’ve gotten the whole way around carefully flip the crepe.

Use your first 2-3 crepes as practice, don’t plan on being a pro with the first one, it take a while to get the hang of it; I mean I can’t even do it at all…But I’m sure you will be able to!

Once you flip the crepe fill it with the filling and extra cheese, then fold it over so the cheese melts. (also, please take note of the not so perfect crepe, give yourself a break when making them, we sure do! It’s supposed to be fun, not stressful.)

Wrap it up, there’s no wrong way, except to roll it that’s very un-French…

Eric made a little purse.

Voila!

When making sweet crepes, the same rules apply. Make the crepe, flip it and fill it with sweet goodness. Here are a few of my favorite sweet crepe fillings:

  • Nutella
  • Nutella and bananas
  • Nutella and strawberries
  • Nutella and anything
  • Jam
  • Cinnamon and powdered sugar
  • White sugar and fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Peaches and whipped cream
  • Plain powdered sugar (for the purist)

We all really enjoyed Julia Child’s sweet crepe recipe, perhaps it was the addition of orange liqueur…

Here are the crepe batter recipes from Julie Child:

Basic Savory Crepes

Makes 20 5-inch or 10 8-inch crepes
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cold milk
2/3 cup cold water
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for brushing on the pan

Prepare the batter: In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. (This allows trapped air bubbles to escape, producing light but evenly textured crepes.)

Cook the crepes: Heat a 5- to 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high until drops of water dropped onto it dance.

Brush the pan lightly with the additional melted butter.

Pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter and tilt the pan in all directions to cover the bottom evenly.

Cook for about 1 minute, or until browned on the bottom. Turn and cook briefly on the other side.

Cool the crepes: Cool the finished crepe on a rack while repeating the process with remaining batter.

Presentation: When cooled, crepes can be stacked and either filled and served, or refrigerated (well covered) for 2 days — or frozen for several weeks.

Sweet Crepe Recipe

Batter for about 18 dessert crepes, 5-6 inches in diameter
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoon orange liqueur, rum or cognac
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (measure by sifting directly into dry-measure cups and leveling off)
5 Tb melted butter

Either whirl all ingredients at top speed in an electric blender for about 1 minute; or gradual work the liquids into the flour with an electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat in the dry ingredients, and strain through a fine sieve. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, allowing flour particles to swell and soften.

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